An extremely rare, attractive and early annual calendar platinum wristwatch of the Swiss watch brand F. P. Journe Invenit et Fecit, founded in 1999 by the French watchmaker François-Paul Journe. Production period: 2002–2004. Case in platinum 950, diameter 38mm, 10.6mm thick, matte textured solid white gold dial, silver sub-dial with clous de Paris guilloché pattern, fine circular grooves and thin metal frame fixed by screws, applied silver arc scale for date indication fixed by screws, sapphire caseback. Thin self-winding caliber 1300, mainplate and bridges in rhodium-plated brass, rotor in 22k rose gold, power reserve of up to 160 hours. Functions – hours, minutes, small seconds hands, annual calendar with day of the week and month indication in apertures, and retrograde date indicator by central hand. Black leather strap, F. P. Journe platinum 950 pin buckle.
François-Paul Journe is one of the few watchmakers to have developed a wristwatch with an annual calendar complication, automatic winding and long 5-day power reserve. The Octa Calendrier, presented by F. P. Journe in 2002, is the third model of the Octa collection, issued after the Octa Réserve de Marche (2001) and the Octa Chronographe (2002). All Octa timepieces are powered by the same self-winding base caliber 1300 with a notably large (10.1mm) chronometric balance. This caliber was initially developed by François-Paul Journe to meet the requests of his customers preferring a self-winding watch. He conceived a slim caliber, allowing various additional complications to be installed without changing the overall thickness of the movement and ensuring the thickness of the case remained practically the same for all models in the Octa collection. For the caliber, François-Paul Journe developed a large barrel with a 1000mm long and 0.1mm thick winding spring, which provided a power reserve of approximately 160 hours, from which 120 hours were picked, guaranteeing a chronometric rate. The annual calendar function of the Octa Calendrier indicates the date by the large central hand and it advances automatically for the months with 29, 30 and 31 days. In non-leap years (three years out of four) the date should be advanced manually from the 28th to the 29th of February by turning the crown. The date then passes automatically from February 29th to March 1st.
The present example is incredibly attractive because it belongs to the earliest series of platinum models in the original 38mm case, with a matte solid white gold dial and caliber 1300 also in its original execution, with the mainplate and bridges made of rhodium-plated brass
Shortly after its official launch, the Octa Calendrier watch won the Special Jury’s Award at the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2002. Early Octa Calendrier watches featured the first-generation caliber 1300 made of rhodium-coated brass, as in the present lot. From 2004, the watchmaker began making Octa movements in 18k rose gold (the second generation), marking the start of caliber 1300.2. In 2007, the brand introduced the 3rd generation caliber 1300.3, again made of 18k pink gold, but equipped with unidirectional winding. When the Octa collection was first launched in 2001, its automatic winding mechanism was designed to be bidirectional, which, as it turned out, was less effective than unidirectional winding when the wearer had an inactive lifestyle. The production of the Octa Calendrier watch ceased in 2015.
F. P. Journe has produced numerous Octa Calendrier designs over the years. The present example is incredibly attractive because it belongs to the earliest series of platinum models in the original 38mm case, with a matte solid white gold dial and caliber 1300 also in its original execution, with the mainplate and bridges made of rhodium-plated brass and a solid 22k rose gold rotor. Watches from the original series have a distinctive marking with the designation “04Q” in the serial number, engraved on the rim of the caseback. Such examples have rarely appeared on the market in recent years, and therefore this lot deserves the closest attention.
The caliber 1300 is finished to a high standard with manual decoration of all parts, including chamfering and polishing, Côtes Circulaires decoration of the bridges, Perlage decoration of the mainplate, and a rotor in 22k rose gold with a Grain d’orge guilloché motif. The peculiarity of the F. P. Journe movements and of the present example is that before 2004 they were produced from rhodium-coated brass, but in solid 18k pink gold since 2004. Nevertheless, collectors and connoisseurs of the F. P. Journe watchmaking artistry are showing an increasing interest in watches with brass movements, which represent the early period of the brand. The total number of F. P. Journe watches with brass movements is estimated at about 2,000 pieces, and therefore such examples have recently attracted more and more interest among collectors.
Reasons to bid
The F. P. Journe Octa Calendrier No. 013-04Q ‘Platinum, Original’ would be an extremely rare and attractive purchase for the collector and F. P. Journe watchmaking expertise aficionado, who will receive a beautiful, elegant, extremely rare and early Octa Calendrier watch from this famous watch brand, one of the undoubted leaders in the haute horlogerie watch market. It represents the original 38mm classic design, which is no longer in production, and it is therefore an incredibly rare chance to meet one of the earliest F. P. Journe Octa Calendrier watches at auction.